Though the popular image of gorillas is centered on King Kong and the creature’s stereotypical chest-beating display of aggression, Shabani appears to be unknowingly changing that impression into something quite the opposite. In fact, Shabani’s female fans consider him to be ikimen and also also “ikumen” – a Japanese term referring to a responsible, hands-on father who looks after his children and treats his wife well… though according to zoo officials, Shabani has TWO wives named Ai and Nene and two children named Kiyomasi and Annie.
The Shabani phenomenon isn’t restricted to cyberspace, mind you. Visitors to Shabani’s enclosure at the Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens will; find around 100 admirers surrounding his exhibit during the zoo’s operating hours. Cameras and smartphones at the ready, they shout things like “Look at me, Shabani!” and “This way, Shabani!” whenever he comes into view.
“It’s a perfect example of the Internet society,” states zoo spokesman Takayushi Ishikawa, who adds “we were very surprised by the phenomenon. He seems to have noticed his new popularity, but he’s kept it very cool.” Well naturally! (images and info via WENN)